OAKLAND -- Rangers starter Colby Lewis came within three outs of a no-hitter in pitching his team to a 5-1 victory over the Athletics on Thursday afternoon at the Coliseum. The no-hit bid ended on a leadoff double in the ninth by Max Muncy as right fielder Nomar Mazara could
OAKLAND -- Rangers starter Colby Lewis came within three outs of a no-hitter in pitching his team to a 5-1 victory over the Athletics on Thursday afternoon at the Coliseum. The no-hit bid ended on a leadoff double in the ninth by Max Muncy as right fielder Nomar Mazara could not make a tough catch at the wall.
His shutout ended when Coco Crisp hit a line-drive double to left and Ryan Rua just missed making a terrific diving catch. Lewis ended the day with a two-hit complete game.
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Lewis retired 23 straight hitters before walking Yonder Alonso with two out in the eighth. He was trying to throw the sixth no-hitter in club history and the first since a perfect game by Kenny Rogers on July 27, 1994.
"I felt great from the time I threw my first pitch in my warmup," Lewis said. "I had a lot of whip in my arm. I felt like I would have a decent day."
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Lewis, making a serious case to be selected to the American League All-Star team, is now 6-0 with a 2.81 ERA in 14 starts. He threw the first complete game of the season for the Rangers on an afternoon when manager Jeff Banister was determined not to use relievers Sam Dyson and Matt Bush because of their heavy workload.
"Colby knew exactly where we were with the bullpen," Banister said. "The veteran workhorse, he just went out and got the job done. It was a special day, but it could have been even more special."
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Lewis' last complete game was on Sept. 11 of last year, a two-hit shutout of the Athletics. He retired 21 straight in that one before losing the perfect game on a double by Danny Valencia.
"That's a grind. It's embarrassing - even to go that deep into the game," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "If there's a silver lining, it's that we didn't get no-hit, shut out, perfect game. But still, our at-bats, really up until the last inning, I think we only hit one ball hard, and that was Yonder's to center. Not our best offensive performance."
Lewis outpitched Athletics No. 13 prospect Daniel Mengden, who began the day by pitching six scoreless innings and allowing just one hit. But Ian Desmond led off the seventh with a home run, and the Rangers pulled away for their third straight win.
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MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Beltre shines in return: Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre returned after a seven-game absence and went 3-for-5 with a two-run double despite being limited by a strained left hamstring.
"The first two at-bats I felt a little bit off," Beltre said. "I had to make some adjustments, but after that I felt better."
Struggle in the seventh: Mengden cruised through the first six innings, allowing two baserunners while retiring 15 straight prior to the seventh. But Desmond's homer just cleared the wall in right, Mazara reached on an error by Alonso, and Beltre followed with a single that glanced off the glove of a diving Marcus Semien, setting up Prince Fielder's RBI grounder.
Ryan Dull entered and struck out Elvis Andrus and Bobby Wilson to get out of a bases-loaded jam, and he has now stranded all 29 runners he's inherited this year, a league high.
"I didn't do him any favors," Melvin said of Dull. "To get two strikeouts like that really shows you the type of season that he's having, especially in those situations. That should be a pick-me-up for the team when you get out of a jam like that and it's still at two runs."
Rua makes terrific catch: Rua made the play of the game to end the eighth, when he had to race back and jump to backhand a long drive by Semien, keeping Lewis' no-hit bid intact.
"In that situation, you are just trying to make every play for the guy," Rua said. "Not many people have gone through what he's gone through and had such a huge impact. I wanted it more than anything." More >
Muncy's mobilizing bunt attempt: Muncy tried to drop a bunt on Lewis with one out in the sixth. Lewis is not the most mobile pitcher after all his surgeries, but he got to the ball and threw to first for the out as Fielder made a nice catch.
"At that point, it's a 0-0 game and I'm trying to get on base," Muncy said. "Beltre was playing off the line, they had the shift going on me. So if I just get it away from the pitcher, it's a free runner on base. ... Unfortunately he threw me a curveball that I bunted right back to him, and he made the play."
"He put a good swing on it. I just put my head down and ran, but the ball popped out of my glove when I hit the wall." -- Mazara
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Lewis is the fifth Rangers starter to pitch at least eight no-hit innings and lose a no-hitter:
8 2/3 IP -- Yu Darvish, April 2, 2013, at Houston (Marwin Gonzalez 1B)
8 1/3 IP -- Charlie Hough, June 16, 1986, at California (Wally Joyner 1B)
8 1/3 IP -- Nolan Ryan, April 23, 1989, at Toronto (Nelson Liriano 3B)
8 1/3 IP -- Nolan Ryan, Aug. 10, 1989, vs. Detroit (Dave Bergman 1B)
8 IP -- Colby Lewis, June 16, 2016, at Oakland (Max Muncy 2B)
• A's fan dabs behind home plate in effort to thwart perfect game
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
Rougned Odor was called out on a head-first slide into first in the eighth inning. The call was overturned after a Rangers challenge, which showed Odor narrowly beat a diving Alonso to the bag for a hit.
Rangers:Cole Hamels will start in the first of a three-game series against the Cardinals at 7:15 p.m. CT on Friday at Busch Stadium. This will be the Rangers' first trip to St. Louis since 2013.
A's:Kendall Graveman will start Friday in the opener of a three-game series with the Angels at the Coliseum. The right-hander is 2-6 with a 5.28 ERA in 12 starts and has struggled recently, unable to complete five innings in his last two starts. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. PT.
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*Mark Chiarelli * is a reporter for MLB.com based in Oakland.
T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.